Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Long Range Strike Imperative

World's Finest Bulk Exporter of Tritinol and Steel 
An "Op For" post (more specifically a comment in the thread) reminded me that there are ‘those’ out there who think we are ‘fat’ with the most critical Long Range Strike assets (AKA Strategic Bombers).
For those so inclined, I would counter with (Emphasis Mine):
Nations that can maintain freedom of action and the ability to threaten and apply violent force without retaliation will hold the ultimate strategic advantage. Failure to maintain credible LRS capabilities diminishes the effectiveness of the other instruments of national power. Although the US military has provided a dependable backdrop of international security for over 60 years, the size of that force has diminished recently even though the need for a strong force has not. In light of the present situation, one that closely resembles the slow demise of the British and Roman global powers, we would do well to heed Julian Corbett’s remarks about the intrinsic advantage of sea control during the waning years of Britain’s global preeminence: “Yet the fact remains that all the great continental masters of war have feared or valued British intervention . . . because they looked for its effects rather in the threat than in the performance. . . . Its operative action was that it threatened positive results unless it were strongly met.” Just as sea control and power projection proved critical for Britain, so is LRS valuable for today’s leading nations. Global actors such as China, Russia, and India recognize LRS’s strategic value, considering it imperative to a successful national security strategy. These rising global competitors, especially China and Russia, seek to obtain or develop their own LRS and to cultivate antiaccess [sic] and area denial capabilities to diminish the enduring strategic advantage of the United States...

--- Major Wade S. Karren, USAF. Read it all HERE (PDF).

"It's ALWAYS the 'Fighter's Turn', It's just that every now and then the rest get their fair share". Even with whatever the NGB will become, this chart won't change much from when I first built it around 2000
We are not ‘fat’ with Long Range Strike/Strategic Bomber capabilities.  
We are not even ‘fluffy’.

'Marauder' in the comments nails it (Photo Added 18 Aug 2012)


Marauder said...

I think the USAF made a major mistake not embracing NG's unsolicited proposal for 40 new B-2s back in 2001.

SMSgt Mac said...

I couldn't agree more, but I'm a little biased (see pic). At the time they were more concerned with how any new acquisition program might upset their F-22 and F-35 buys. Given how the the F-22 story has plated out, I'll bet more than a few regret it even more today. They had to game the initiative by burdoning it with ridiculous OGC (Other Government Costs) from ridiculous underlying assumptions to kill it.